Makin' Bacon

Scott McLemee writes about an intellectual brownout that came to him during a party, when he was asked to comment on a book he knew well.

People who consume two or three books a month, for example, might be less susceptible to moments of total overload than those who read two or three a week.
Some situations require learning to handle texts like a meat packer carving up pigs on an assembly line. Certain skills are involved, and they are good skills to have. You can learn to wield the blade with some precision without losing a finger. But efficiency counts, because there’s always another pig coming at you.